Teaming up for good

What’s in a name?


My first assignment, when offered this opportunity to write for the Southwest Connector, was to come up with a Name for the Column. And as I started to write, I realized that without a name for it, it would be hard to write for it.
Chicken or the Egg? That old phrase lives on because it is so often pertains... What causes what? How do things relate? Where do you start? when in fact, there is never really the beginning of anything; everything follows something else. Big Bang? Or the egg?
I like to philosophize. I also like to “connect people,” which is something I said to SWC Publisher Tesha Christensen in my first interview with her. I told her that I love the name of this new publication, because connecting with each other is one of life’s great joys. It might even be called Life’s Purpose: we come together, with attractive energy, and when we die, we come apart: entropy. Life is the energy of connecting, and death is its opposite.
Anyway. What I want to do with this column, what I want this column to be will inform what I name this column. So: travel with me, here, these next 500 words, as I embark on a hunt for a good name...
Shall I start “at the beginning?” I first heard about the Southwest Connector from my dear friend Suzie Marty, who not only owns the supercool art gallery Everett & Charlie, she is a connector of people, too.
Two summers ago, when COVID-19 was raging and we all needed a safe, outdoor place to connect, Suzie created a weekly outdoor Fall Sidewalk Music Series. She partnered with the neighboring Harriet Brasserie restaurant, and presto: we had musicians entertaining both passers-by and diners. People connect, and everybody wins.
But my favorite part of this story is that there is a driveway between Everett & Charlie and The Harriet Brasserie. The driveway is owned by Felicity Britton, who many of you may know as one of the founders of Linden Hills Power and Light, the organization highly responsible for starting the organic recycling movement in Minnesota. Felicity owns the building that houses both the gallery and the Wild Rumpus Bookstore. During COVID-19, when no one could eat inside, Felicity donated her driveway for free to The Harriet Brasserie so that the Brasserie could have enough outdoor seating to serve all of the people who wanted to come together for community and food.
I’ve always believed in the concept of a team. I loved it when Title IX was passed: it gave girls the same chance as boys to be on a team. I coached little league, and more than anything else, I stressed that we were a team. We tucked our shirts in, and we all rooted for each other; that’s what my team was about. Years later, I named my real estate business Team Larry. It’s who I am.
And yet, I believe in cooperation more than competition. Competition is great when it makes you work harder, but as Paul Wellstone said, “We all do better when we all do better.”
I not only believe this, but I work consciously to make it true. My faith is important. No one can change the world, and yet, we change the world with everything we do. I’ve been writing my whole adult life, hoping for it to have some effect. I’ve recently learned how to play guitar, and I’ve finally begun to feel that I can affect people with music, as I team with other musicians. Bingo! Dang! I just got it! I just this instant, as you are with me here... I just this instant came up with the title: Teaming Up for Good. {he writes the title at the top of the page.}
Hah! I love it when this happens. My personal artistic writing is heavily influenced by art that incorporates a meta-consciousness: TV shows that break the fourth wall, and fiction that implicates the reader into the story. I like to talk to you as you watch my characters talk to each other.
So – thanks for helping me title this column! I couldn’t have done it without you!
Look for articles here about the community, about opportunities to do good in the community, and yes, also occasionally about real estate. I have carefully followed the writing and passing of Minneapolis 2040 plan, and I have lots of opinions about how it will affect our culture and your property values.
Stay tuned. And thanks for coming with me this far.

Larry LaVercombe is a writer, filmmaker, and activist, born in Detroit and arrived in Minneapolis in 1975. He lived in a treehouse in San Diego before getting an MFA from the USC Film School. He writes every day, and he has been selling residential real estate in Minneapolis for 26 years.


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